Saturday, July 20, 2013

The National Day 2013 Theme Song Commotion - 'One Singapore' by Elaine Chua OR 'Shine Singapore' By Lorraine Tan

Gastric + Stomach Flu = Nightmare after Nightmare for 1 WEEK.

I was at Changi Hospital A&E in the middle of the night on Sunday because my yummy hurt so much it woke me up from my sleep.


Despite taking my medicine on time, I couldn't eat anything and even started puking out my meds on the 3rd day. Later that day I had to be warded into A&E AGAIN to be put on drip.



The doctor had to try FOUR times before the needle was finally in the right place. But all the nudging and pushing of the needles under my skin to set it right caused bruises and pain.


My Facebook notifications, twitter replies, emails and work were left untouched as I spent most of my time sleeping away. But even lying in bed feeling sick and frail, I can't help but notice the latest NDP Song commotion on my twitter and Facebook timeline during the very little time i was awake, friends' and netizens' critiques on the National Day theme Song.

I'm referring to this year's National Day (NDP 2013) Theme Song - One Singapore:

Or did our NDP Theme song in the year 2010 set a standard too high?

Oh come on people,
National Day Song Also Want To Complain?

On a brighter note, at least we are united with the Singapore Spirit for this- everyone coming together and complain in unity. Who agrees with me, kee-qiu!

Is this the ultimate objective behind making this theme song in the first place -- To make us listen and complain together? To make us want to tweet/share on fb how bad it is so that it will get more viral?

Ops sorry I let my thoughts ran a little too wild.

So why is our NDP2013 Theme song titled One Singapore 'badder' than before ?

You keep saying it's badder it's badder.
WHERE is badder?!

*Saw the word 'badder' on one of the comments on Youtube instead of 'worse'. Thought it's quite cute to use it even though it's broken english. :p

You've got to sound it out so that the song writers and music arrangers can work on making improvements right?

How about let's try and break the song down from the skills I learnt from my favourite module, Song Analysis Module and maybe we'd be able to find out why this song isn't as well-liked as it may seem.

Let's analyse the song, One Singapore, in detail in terms of the melody and lyrics.
NOT THE MUSIC ARRANGEMENT -- that means the background music.

Yes, just the melody and lyrics.

Many song writers and music arrangers learn and practise song analysis to better understand how a particular song can be further improved and enhanced. Also, it's good to know how to analyse self-compositions so you have a rough idea of how good or bad your written song is and back to the first point, you know how your song can be improved and enhanced. After taking this module and listening back to my own demos, I have A LOT to brush up for my OWN songs.


Also, I keep using the words 'good' and 'bad'.
Technically, there shouldn't even be termed as a GOOD or BAD song in this world.

Songs are either mediocre or great HITS.
If it's not a HIT, then we'd say it's a mediocre song.

Friendships aside, I know many of my loves are starring and they are the singers in this MV because they are from Xplosions (Sing-a-nation). They have great voices and lovely people. I love them all but everyone, let's all switch to NEUTRAL MODE now and analyse SOLELY on THE SONG itself.

Hanrey, Jia Ling, Tiffany, Soki, Superman, SPY and Elton are my V-Singer 2012 Classmates! They've worked so hard for their passion, burning all their weekends and personal time for the making of the MV, NDP rehearsals and all.  MUACKS, 辛苦你们了!

Go Go, like their Facebook page for me okies?
Here you go: Xplosions (Sing-a-nation)

By the way, I also spotted Sunsilk Fantasia Academy 1st runner-up, Irwin Isaiah Fua in the video too!

I may not be entirely right about the song analysis for the song but let's share our views and penny of thoughts together. Here we go, play the song again and let's get down to the technical aspects and break the song down into smaller parts:

Breaking The Song Into Parts

One Singapore has got these parts:
Verse, Verse, Pre-chorus, Chorus.
Verse, Pre-Chorus, Rap
Chorus, Bridge, Chorus + Taglines, Chorus

Did you manage to watch until the very end?
One of the young sing-a-nation finalists from Team Dreamers (hope I'm cor-right here) takes an order for the rest, "Uncle, Teh Terik for everyone!"

The last part made me smile. :D

The song is segmented into more complicated parts, a more daring approach as compared to... for instance, our NDP 2001 theme song titled Where I Belong by Tanya Chua, where the parts are just Verse, Verse, Chorus and then a repeat of the parts:

We can take daring approaches, can't we?
Let's be open and give credits for the songwriters here please! :)

I think the layout of the segments are quite okie,
so the problem doesn't lie here.


Analysing The Melody Of One Singapore

I'm sorry but I really have to listen to the song again. Somehow I cannot remember a single line at all even after listening it to 5 times already; yes not even a single line.

The melody: Most of the last musical notes of the melody lines are made up of lower notes.
Take the line 'My life is here to share' in the very first verse.

I learnt that in song writing, singing lower music notes makes a song sounds more gloomy.

The word 'share' is sung in a lower music note as compared to other words in the same line. 'Sharing should be a happy thing and perhaps, the note should be sung in a a higher pitch to indicate 'happiness in sharing' instead of singing it lower.  This is the case happening for almost every other line of the verse, pre-chorus and even for the rap, they ended in lower keys.

As for the rap, well I'll get to that part later.

Let's go back to the first verse first:
I will be here
Right by your side here
I will hold near
All that we love so dear
Not looking elsewhere
My life is here to share

I don't know if you feel the same but did you notice how when we sing the line "All That We Love" sounds so good but when we added "so dear" the feel came crashing down because the key went down low once more?

'Love' is a happy gesture so when we sing it with a higher note, it sounds and FEELS good, doesn't it?
Too many low points in the song even though the background music is so lively and vibrant.

Also, the pitch of each note between one to the other doesn't vary that much.

I learnt that using repetitive melodies in a song creates a common identity which helps the listener to remember the song better but will become too boring if the melody isn't well-written.

All the lines pretty much sound about the same without the lyrics.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why the song turns out relatively monotonous and not-so-catchy in general.

Take one of my favourite NDP song titled It's the Little Things.

Listen to the first part until 0:29.
I like how there are plenty of variations in the melody, ups and downs for the musical notes.
Just for the FIRST 5 words itself, "Over the years, I've grown" already sounds so beautiful when you hum it.

The last line of the first verse, 0:22 - 0:29 went lower too, but following that, there was a gradual climb in the melody of the song, the pitch got higher and higher and 'releases' the tension (all the lows) that has been form from the initial verse.

Try humming both melodies without the lyrics and you'll get what I mean about the catchy and not-so-catchy part. I've also learnt that in hit songs, melodies are catchy even by humming without the lyrics or any other music. Listen to any of your favourite classics and you'll get what I mean.

Based on feelings, melodies and lyrics of hit songs should allow people to really FEEL for the song and like it. Songwriters do this by usually beginning the verses with lower and not-so-varied notes to create tensions. Then at the chorus, we help listeners release their emotions using higher or more impactful notes.

The melody notes of a song has to climb up and down to create tension for the release in the chorus.

Isn't it like life where one should go through ups and downs in life to make your life more exciting?


Like One Singapore, you notice a repetitive melody in the verses and chorus but in this case, we have ups and down tunes for It's the little things but may be slightly missing from One Singapore.

In my opinion, the melody of One Singapore could be fine-tuned.

The Rap For One Singapore

Yes, There's singing in raps too.
There's this rhythmic pattern which you follow and sounds like singing.

During Music History Class, Hua Chang introduced this 1968 Rap titled Just A Friend and I immediately grow a liking for it; teasing and cute.

Nothing beats the latest version of Just A Friend by Austin Mahone:
Austin Mahone FTW!!!!!!!!!

The RAP  for One Singapore

Now let's look at the RAP for our NDP song.
From 2:01 - 2:17

Rap Lyrics 
Yo! I may look like I’m just a tiny thing
Here I am, I can bravely sing
For sure I’m gonna give you my everything
Like how I play when that recess bell rings

I’m gonna give it my all
Cos this is my home
I love
I love
I love
I love my Singapore

I think that it still sounds beautiful until "give you my everything..." The rest of the rap … hmmm… is more or less like talking… I was hoping for a more impactful  "SIN.GA.PORE" with a pause there rather than just speak out the whole chunk in top speed.

Oh Well…… the climax went down after the 3rd "I love".

On a side note, I've been to the actual live recording of Sing-a-nation at Mediacorp TV Theatre. Thanks to Hanrey (right) for the tickets!

Team Dreamers, consisting of 3 young singers (the rappers in the MV), was one of the best and most engaging team who drew my attention!  Aspiring superstars I'd say, if they continue to pursue their dream and passion in singing.

I hope they win the Sing-a-nation contest!

Left to right: Sam Peng You(SPY), Me, Hanrey Low


Camwhore while Q-ing up with MinutemanSg



Sitting with more of my V singer classmates.

Back row from left to right:
Sellyne (V singer Elite), Qiao Wei Dance Instructor, Stella (V Singer Elite) and Yingyu.


That day, we really had to control our screaming and cheers throughout the whole Live recording to give the TV viewers 'the best viewing and listening pleasures from home' instead of sounding like some 'chicken got killed'.

Maybe that's why when most locals attend concerts, we feel controlled for fear we might jeopardised any recordings involved and only screamed when we are being asked to.

Analysing the Lyrics of One Singapore


A set of well-written lyrics should consist of:
1. rhymes (High and Fly, Care and Share)
2. alliteration (Peter Pan is Playing in the Park, Bring it Back, Love and Live)
3. easy to pronounce when sung with the melody (clarity)
4. fits the note such that it sounds pleasant to the ears when sung.
5. Speaks of images and scenarios we can relate and feel
Bonus. A sentence which holds few words but means something/hold a value by itself. (Growing Up, I Love You)

I will be here
Right by your side here
I will hold near
All that we love so dear
Not looking elsewhere
My life is here to share
Just want to show I care

This verse itself has got a word repeated THREE times already - 'here'.
"Right by your side here" sounds awkward by itself, don't you feel?

How can we better improve this sentence if it's you who needs to churn out the lyrics?

Here's a funny one I thought of:
I will be here
Sitting in your car rear
(since it's a vibrant and playful song, might as well give it all right)
Read this out:
I will be here
You don't have to fear

Compare it to the original:
I will be here
Right by your side here

Which one sounds more logical when you READ it?
Mine right! :p

"Just want to show I care" <--- i=""> broken english?

I think we don't have to go on in full detail, do we?

I know we just got started
And I’m excited
It may not seem all perfect
But you know what?
Our story’s just beginnin’
I’m gonna give it my all
Oh yea

Together we can reach for the stars
(with hope in our hearts)
Together we are stronger as one
(let’s walk hand in hand)
Together we’ll make dreams come true
(won’t ever give up)
Together sharing the love with all that we do

I felt that the lyrics found in the pre-chorus is well written but the backup vocals needs more blending.

Let our hearts sing
Wooh ho-oh^oh! Wooh ho-oh. oh,oh!
Wooh ho-oh^oh! Wooh-ho-oh-oh.oh,
Together as one
We’re so much more
One Singapore [repeat]

It seems like so long ago
When we got started
We wanted everything right
But you know what
Our story keeps on going
We’ll give it our all

Repeat Pre Chorus

Yo! I may look like I’m just a tiny thing
Here I am, I can bravely sing
For sure I’m gonna give you my everything
Like how I play when that recess bell rings
I’m gonna give it my all
Cos this is my home
I love
I love
I love
I love my Singapore

Repeat Chorus
Let’s join up the dots
Light up this spot
That we call home
Many memories and stories to be shared
Like the colours of the rainbow 
we will shine ever so bright
Together we shine
Together we shine


I rest my case here.
I think the lyrics of One Singapore is in a critical condition and perhaps why we felt the song sound so amiss. We generally don't feel much for majority of the song except for the pre-chorus lines base ON JUST READING IT OUT.

Putting The Song Analysis Together

Just imparted some of my life skills to you guys.
It's what we do in class too - listening to a song and then start discussing about it, the melody and lyrics.

By the way, I found the composer and lyricist of the song One Singapore online!

Image source from Google

Front: Lyricist, Miss Selena Tan
Back: Composer, Miss Elaine Chan

Kudos to the ladies please.

Come on, It's really not a simple task to compose and write lyrics catered for a group of 68 people consisting of public performers with such a big age gap from Primary school children to senior citizens.

A lot of considerations must've been thought through.

This year's NDP theme song has opted for a more vibrant and bright song instead of the usual slow and patriotic ballads. The song itself is generally okay what. Also it's good to KNOW THIS:

Singapore HAS talents.
I know of overseas celebrities coming to Singapore specially to look for our local songwriters and music arrangers to compose songs and write lyrics for them.

Let's be proud of this fact and that talented music people DO EXIST in Singapore!
I hope they can stand out and do our NDP 2014 theme song together.
What a sight it'll be!

Shine Singapore By Ms Lorraine Tan

Meanwhile I think all this commotion has led us to discover yet another of our local talents, a singer and songwriter Ms Lorraine Tan.

Compliments of her latest song titled Shine Singapore were seen and heard and her Youtube MV has also gone viral.

This song, Shine Singapore, is written by Ms Lorraine for a Charity Project.
I personally think it's a good song because it touched my heart instantly.

Story Of The MV - Shine Singapore

I was touched to tears watching the MV, call me a cry baby I don't care.
It is really heart-warming ma...

The lyrics of the song is simple yet extremely meaningful.
You like ballads, here's one.

Don't just listen to the song.

The story of the MV is inspired by Ronn, who had greatly benefited from the support given by SPMF during his teenage schooling years. His story inspired and touched Lorraine very much. She is thus very determined to challenge herself to raise even more funds for Straits Times' School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF) so that more kids can benefit from the mission and beliefs of SPMF through this year's fund raising concert at the prestigious esplanade concert hall.

About My Singapore 2013: "Shine Singapore" Charity Fund Raising Concert

MySin_Poster_Ver9_LATEST_09July (1)

This initiative is a privately driven National Day project organized by Atlas Medical ~ Laser and Aesthetics Clinic, in collaboration with Pink Piano Productions and Wedding Harmony.

First started in 2011, “My Singapore” is the brainchild of Singaporean singer-songwriter Lorraine Tan. Driven by her love for music and her desire to use her talents to help support a good cause, Lorraine has teamed up with many like minded individuals and companies to continue to helm “My Singapore” project into its 3rd year. This year’s project will see Lorraine compose an original national day song followed by production of a music video, culminating in a national day charity fund raising concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 6th August 2013.

The funds raised will be going to the School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF)

The Highlights of the Charity Fund Raising Concert

· Local singer and songwriter, Lorraine Tan 陈莉芯 will be singing the theme song of this year’s My Singapore project,Shine Singapore, amongst other original compositions

· Mr Gan Thiam Poh, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, and Dr William Wan, General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement will be gracing the concert to support the cause

· Kpop sensation, Shin Min Chul from T-max, to make a guest appearance and sing a duet with Lorraine Tan, as well as a solo piece

· Performance by Winner of 2013 International Belly Dance competition, Jamila

· Involvement of local renown music director, arrangers and musicians including Kenn C, Terence Teo and Yuen Shao Wen

· Finale to feature all special guests as well as students from various schools who have participated in the making of the My Singapore 2013, Shine Singapore, music video

Shine Singapore in Chinese Version

There's a chinese version of 'Shine Singapore' and its just as lovely!
Actually I preferred the lyrics of the chinese version, 最幸福的感动.

And you know something, I recently wrote a social issue song which is trying to convey similar messages as her Chinese song. OMG~

Mine's not published though.

Here's a glimpse of my social issue song when I was testing out my new JBL Speakers:

One more thing, I spotted another familiar face in this MV - my music theory instructor, Mr Daniel Chai!

Wohoooooo Lao Shi!!!
He's seen playing his guitar in the MV, as usual.


Footage from Chinese Version Of Shine Singapore

This year’s project will also see more than 100 school children from various schools participating in studio vocal recording and in filming the music video at various locations in Singapore (eg. Marina Barrage, in schools etc). These students will also join Lorraine & her team of musicians on stage for the charity concert.

Through “My Singapore”, Lorraine hopes to use music to create a movement that can inspire and bring people together to contribute to the less fortunate. She truly believes that apart from the usual acts of giving money, there must be a conscious effort to spread the spirit of giving and one good way is to involve the arts. Music is a universal language and through music, she hopes to help spread this message of giving.

In addition, this project is also a great platform to showcase to the world our own original Singaporean music and artistic talents as it involves professionals and young talents from both music (concert performers and studio recording work) and film industries (Music Video production). School children also have a chance to experience music and film production by participating actively in this project as seen in the chinese version MV.

Do your part for these children,
get your tickets and go for this Charity Concert!

Date/Day:           6th August 2013, Tuesday 
Time:                  7:30pm (Registration starts at 6:45pm)
          Venue:                Esplanade Concert Hall  
          Address:             1 Esplanade Drive                           Singapore 038981

Tickets are priced at: S$48, S$88, S$108, S$128, S$148

I would really love to go for the concert but I have WDA classes on the same day. (the one which Mr Daniel Chai is teaching me in one of my modules). I've been sick and missed too many classes, boo-hoo.  In order to receive my course subsidy, I need to achieve a 75% attendance and MCs are not counted! I've gotten a totally of 7 days of MC so far but none are valid reasons for my absence.


Thanks Kiah Gek for coming to visit me yesterday.
Your presence made me felt better, like sunshine~



What goes down, must come up.
On the way to recovery, FIGHTING!!!

Ms Lorraine, if you're reading this, this is for you:


谢谢您用音乐把希望带给别人 ,也把更多的人凝聚起来,一起做有意义的事。

To you and team,

Ending this post with my all-time favourite National Day Song, Singapore Town.

These songs are written for good causes and to make us feel home.
So why not learn to appreciate them more?

HAPPY NATIONAL DAY IN ADVANCE to everyone, Muacks!!!

1 comment:

  1. AHHH. i was reading and till the end, i saw my face. hahahaha. *flying kisses* Hope you're feeling better mint mint!! and nice post!! feels like i'm in class all over again. hehehee. see you soon <3